How to Handle Life- 101

In my brief span of the last couple of years, a period I like to modestly refer as ‘the awakening’ I’ve been able to deduce a lot of conclusions about life- stemming mostly from my own, often disappointing experiences. I have always had this annoying penchant to be severely critical of every single incident that occurs in my life.

I sit still, place the situation on a table, turn it around and analyse it diligently until I’ve found a possible explanation. I always have to find an absolute answer; cannot tolerate ambiguity. Because of my belief that there is a certain pattern behind everything, I reduce a matter to its bare bones until I can finally answer the question-
‘Where did I go wrong?”  

It’s not entirely my fault- this knack for seeking absolute answers. INTJs tend to do that- A LOT.

So here is a tip I discovered during one of my analysis that I’d like to share today. A virtue (as I like to call it) I find myself a pro at practicing:

Apathy. 

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Don’t get me wrong, I do want the world to be more kind, compassionate and altruistic. But sometimes, you have to take some measures to protect yourself from humans- they can be pretty callous.

One such measures is cold and sullen ‘withdrawal.’

I find it typical and amusing when I notice someone’s childish attempts to try and incite a reaction from me, or briefly stating, to make me care.
I have this ability to switch from intense affection to mad indifference within days. All a person needs to do is disappoint, the transition is almost instant and often irrevocable.

This way, you’re saved from hours of pining and mooning over an individual who clearly doesn’t deserve that much time. You’re not resentful, it’s just the emotional maneuvering doesn’t have any effect on you.

If an individual or a situation is becoming an impediment in your mental and social growth, is stealing away chunks of your time- time you could utilize somewhere better, doesn’t acknowledge your value, exacerbates your anxiety than abate it-, this is what you do- you instantly yet gracefully uproot yourself from their life. The final nail in the coffin, ladies and gentlemen. 

Understand, there is way too much life yet to be lived to hand any kind of power over you to someone. Don’t waste time getting offended over things and people who won’t matter in a few years. Don’t give them the satisfaction of being offended. That’s what they want. Don’t fret and whine over ..humans at least find something worthy to sulk about.

Don’t compete with those you subconsciously know are inferior to you in every virtue possible. Let them do the talking, you stay silent, nod and smile. Or better, zone out. I often do that- it really helps. You don’t have to justify your apathy to anyone. If people are stupid enough to walk away from you- be smart enough to let them go.

Trust me, if you can master switching to ‘apathetic mode’ towards those who don’t reciprocate your emotional investment, you’ll live your life liberated from mental unrest or upheaval.

Indifference is a gift, my fellow hoomans. Embrace it. Invest only in those who invest in you. Shock them with your ability to be perfectly unaffected with a taxing phase. Remember,

For common people, a taciturn disposition is hard to come in terms with. 

(And if nothing else works out- go find some memes-they always help.)

Love always,

your blogger.

 


Note- I’m very happy to let you all know that I’ve begun working with the star stuffed team of Acadman as an Editor. It’s an independent student run website currently focusing on educational advancements and internship experiences for the students of India. 

If you have any experience to share from an internship you did, do contact me and I’ll see how we can publish it. 


 

 

Prelude

Months after it began, I felt I’d already died. Like one day I had opened my eyes and woken up to blood smeared all over my body and a few dead people lying around me. For a moment I could not understand why was I here; fighting for a cause I did not believe in and for a master I did not know. But a queer, distant force had thrown me into this belligerent commotion and there was no escape but to pick up arms and fight.

When I got on my knees to have a bird’s eye view of the parched, dust laden field I was standing on, there was nothing but a rough land stretching far down every direction. And darkness blanketed the sky where, somewhere in the faded strands of my memory, once glinted the sun. The imminent threat of what was about to pass for a seemingly long time made my heart heavy with grief and even in the coming years, amongst all the steely clinks of swords and the bashing of shields, I’d often pause and look around for a kind exchange – but all in vain.

For years I got so accustomed to the torrid heat, unremitting anguish, dark and threatening crevices with no end, desolate, cold nights with no repose that now when I stand staring at a waning sun, I do not know how to behave. I haven’t experienced tranquility in a very long time, and uneasiness seems to have settled in the narrowest slits of my mind.

Somewhere I once heard, assurance cures uneasiness; assurance from whom, I wonder. 

I’ll tell you how it was; hold on for a little longer. A queer game this is and by the time you learn how to play by its rules you’re already on the brink of incorrigible collapse. You learn the art of carrying the burden of helplessness and masking it with pride. You learn how to sit still and hear the world around you softly mewling for help. You learn to appreciate recluse corners.

You begin to look up to the sky often, like a pair of bright, celestial hands would pick you up someday and take you far away-far from all the bedlam.

You start nursing hopes of divine help. Any help. You excel at constructing impressive facades- after all, they’ve protected you all this time. Initially, you try to talk about it, to the ones fighting alongside. But slowly you feel derided and just .. not understood enough, so you shut down, turn inwards and find a listener within.

This is how I fought and waded through years of noise and unrest.

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But now, I’m entranced, reader.  It’s almost like an ending of a long nightmare. I gaze with longing and gratitude at the freckles of grey clouds dotting the bruised evening sun. A warm rain might wash away some of this angst. A gush of fresh rain sweeps the field and I realise I’m still clinging tightly to my armour, so I let go and take a long whiff of the petrichor rising from the moist earth.

Dismally gazing at the distance I think of who I used to be before the war. I make a silent promise to scour her in the deepest of corners and pull her back. But the question is,

Has anybody who has ever been through war, returned unchanged?

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Note- I’ve noticed many of you have been sharing my posts on Facebook. The numbers have been increasing ever since! I’m grateful for the kindness and I thank you so much for this.  

But somehow, WordPress doesn’t give me the liberty to know who all share my posts on other platforms. So if you do share it, please let me know in the comments section. I’d love to thank you in person.

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Love always,

Your blogger.

All About Perspectives

A couple of weeks back, while scouring the internet for cute dog videos (because dogs are love-deal with it) I happened to land on a page that described Nietzsche’s theory of perspectivism.
Don’t even get me started on how that escalated.

Now I have read bits and pieces of his philosophies, but never felt like ‘delving deep’ into the ideas he propagated. Philosophers and too much philosophy can mess with your mind.

So after I devoured the Wikipedia page enough to satiate my mind, I felt a certain sense of ..pride? Let me elucidate the point I’m trying to make by using (Hermione’s) my time turner and taking you back to the year 2014.

I’m a firm believer in perspectives. I feel that people never truly tell you information in its true form, but rather their version of it.

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Is it a room, a painting, the sky or a building?

Every person has this window of comprehension. The bigger the window, the wider the perspective. Knowledge that we receive is always torn, bent, twisted, interpreted and distorted by the mind that delivers it. It’s never really ..pure.

This is what I have been believing since the last three years. And now that I found there’s an actual theory justifying and claiming the same thing is unreal! I mean the fact that a small, private and less discussed principle I’ve withheld and believed in for so long resonates with an actual philosophy from, what history calls, one of the greatest philosophers of all time – Nietzsche, is surreal! I think I should be allowed to have a fleeting, teeny-tiny moment of pride?

But if you apply this theory to every piece of information you’ve ever received, it can seem a little scary.

Whatever news you watch on the television, is a version and interpretation of the journalists and the writers, apart from factual information of course.

Like I read somewhere once,‘How do you know your hero is righteous, if you haven’t heard the story from the villain’s perspective.’

Perspectives and point of views can revamp both the connotation and the core idea behind an event.

The book critic might consider Lord of the Rings to be the greatest work of fantasy but maybe it isn’t? (Psstt ..it is.)

So our opinions are limited to our window (or scope) of perceiving it.

There is no truth, there are only perspectives.

One person’s idea of the ‘right’ kind of behavior might not conform with yours?

This entire blog article right here is also a perspective. Care to refute?


Note- Once upon a time there was this weird, ethereal boy in my class. His hobbies included doodling on tables, minimal human interaction and secretly seeking the meaning of the universe.  We spent two years in Middle school which consisted of him doodling on the table and I admiring it. That was the only human form of interaction he was programmed for.

Then we lost touch and he left the city.(Or maybe he went to another galaxy to fulfill some strange odyssey?) But years later in 2017 and due to some very peculiar turn of events, we met again! And now that he’s capable of having a human like conversation and even telling me about his plans to open a music store, I can safely vouch for the credibility of his blog, that he’s launched very recently.

People of WordPress, please spare some time and visit my very talented friend Yash’s blog. He has phenomenal writing skills and his comic books (that he creates when he’s on Earth for the time being) are a cherry on the cake. He talks of abstract stuff superimposed with a witty sense of humor, creative metaphors and peculiar diagrammatic representations of kebab rolls.

His blog is:

Bipolar Bear

Do visit and leave a review. Both the writer and the blog mean a lot to me.

I’d be grateful.

Into the Wild

After graduating in May 1990, Christopher McCandless left his home and all of his material possession for a trip across America. He ‘literally’ burnt all of his money, left his car and lived off the road for two years and walked into Alaska in April 1992.

A lot of people criticize Christopher and lambaste the public for portraying him as a hero. They call him reckless, inconsiderate and even narcissistic.

I could write an entire book about how all these claims are utterly and fallaciously wrong.

The boy was a bright and active student. He did well in class. He read good, inspiring books. He was agile, dynamic and friendly. He even made sure he graduated before he left; hence showing awareness so as to abide by his filial duties before reaching out to his calling. How can people say he was reckless?

The boy carried no IDs, no money, no possession and craved to be off the radar. And they say he wanted ‘popularity?’ If he wanted fame, he would’ve made sure people knew where he was.

Understand, that there must be something more persuasive than ‘fame’ to lure a boy with a bright future to abandon his affluent life and walk into nothingness. There was something more than that. 

Chris McCandless

Real picture of Christopher in Alaska at an abandoned bus where he took refuge.

Even though he died around September, he still scrambled and survived Alaska for 3 months, unguided and alone. He was caught by police authorities several times, and he still managed to escape without jail only by persuasive talking.

And they say he wasn’t smart. 

They say Chris had no idea what he was doing. I say, chances are, he knew EXACTLY what he was doing. He was not some hopeless romantic who got infatuated with some book and abandoned his affluent home. He was aware that he might end up dead. He knew the risks involved. He knew that there was a price to pay.

The reason I cannot stop being utterly fascinated with Chris is that I completely understand why he did it. I cannot put it to words, but I know how he felt, what drove him to take the perilous step. What coaxed him to give everything up, to leave them all behind and willingly walk away. I understand how claustrophobic he felt among people. I understand he was mad with the world. I know he was looking for an escape. I know he wanted peace. If I had more guts and less excuses, I would do something exactly like him.

I know what it’s like to live with a mind that won’t ever shut up. 

He certainly took some wrong decisions, and there are opinions of his where I greatly disagree, but I still admire and sort of pity him. Even empathize with him. He is exactly the kind of person I could sit and talk with for hours. The people he spent time with during his escapade said that the boy could talk and talk about the things that mattered. He would listen to anything that was new to him. He had a willingness to learn. A never quenching curiosity.

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He was loved and missed by everyone he met during his travel. He made an impression on every  body. All of them said that the boy was special, that there was something unique about him.

In September 1992, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters.

Wherever he is right now, I only hope he found the peace he was looking for.

I’ve met a lot of people in various groups who read Into the Wild and were rendered speechless. I really urge you to read it. Please. It’s going to change your perspective regarding a lot of things. And if you do manage to read it, please send me an email. I long to discuss this book with someone.

Until then.

Alexander Supertramp, in our hearts forever.

Love always,

Your blogger.

Some Great Elysium

I need you to be in a specific mood before reading this post. It’s important. So before you go on reading, I want you to watch this video and listen to this song. Then we’ll talk.

I hope you liked the song. I’ve listened to it 14 times already.

For a long while, I’ve harbored this notion that everybody, in some phase of their life, has a ‘turning point.’ A day, or maybe a month or maybe a year in which things happened that changed you. For better or for worse.

My best friend and I have a code name for this, we like to call it the ‘year.’ Mostly because for both of us it was this one particular year that changed us, completely. So whenever we see somebody in  a ‘pre-year’ phase, we shake our heads and say, ‘Oh he just hasn’t had his ‘year’ yet.’ 

Most of the time, these changes are permanent. This is what hones us as we grow up. This is what gives us our unique personality. This is what makes each one of us different. Anything could trigger this change- One particular incident, a series of incidents, a heavy loss, some serious betrayal, a miracle, serendipity?  Like I said- for better or for worse.

Nevertheless, these changes are important. To some they might be heartbreaking and they might miss the person they were before the change. To some, it would almost seem magical.

These are certain periods in your life that are specifically designed for you to learn from. You might not see it on the surface but they’re here to provide answers to some questions you’ve buried too long. They’re here to give you the absolute truth. They’re here to give you your perspective of things.

This phase is what blurs the wall between  crudity and maturity. Don’t get me wrong, you’re the still the same person, you still enjoy the things you love, it is just your view that changes. It is your way of calibrating the life around you that transforms.

And I’m going to say it again- it is important. This change, if understood and not resisted, might become your greatest teacher. There is no timeline for the ‘year’ to happen. It can happen at any age.

Some people are lucky enough to have it soon. Most of us have it multiple times in our life. I myself have had it twice. But I’m glad every single day it did. It made me the person I am today. Stronger, more empathetic and more headstrong.

Reflect on your life for once, go back and think about the day that changed you.

You did find something, didn’t you?

P.s- As for the song, I don’t exactly know why I shared it particularly with this post. But maybe because in the video you can see the death of their friend transforming all the friends. Just maybe. 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Anne’s Last Letter

A couple of months back, I read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ without the slightest notion of how deeply it is going to move me. Had I even an ounce of idea of the deep impact Anne’s words would have on me, I’d have prepared myself better. Nonetheless, I’m glad I read it. Some of you might have a hint of who she was.

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Anne Frank

 

Anne was the youngest daughter of Otto Frank, a Jewish man who fled Germany along with his family and went into hiding after the rising oppression against the Jews in the 1940s. Anne spent two years underground in what she called, ‘The Secret Annexe’ and wrote about her experience in a diary her father gave her on her 13th birthday.

There are certain entries in her diary so hauntingly beautiful, that I was nothing short of bewildered after reading them. Although all her entries are a proof of how mentally strong and capable she was, along with displaying her out of the world writing skills. But there is one particular diary entry, her very last before she was captured by the Nazis, the one that she wrote on Tuesday, August 1st, 1944.

I literally held my breath while reading it. No song, lyric or poem, has ever succeeded in describing so precisely,this disposition of mine, that I find so hard to make sense of, at times. Every single word she wrote in her last entry was directly describing who I am as a person. And because this 15 year old did a far better job than I ever could, in writing about a personality that is strikingly similar to mine, I chose to share it here. This is was she wrote:

Dearest Kitty,
“A bundle of contradictions” was the end of my previous letter and is the beginning of this one. Can you please tell me exactly what “a bundle of contradictions” is? What does “contradiction” mean? Like so many words, it can be interpreted in two ways: a contradiction imposed from without and one imposed from within.
The former means not accepting other people’s opinions, always knowing best, having the last word; in short, all those unpleasant traits for which I’m known. The latter, for which I’m not known, is my own secret.

As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-colour joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side.
I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true?

My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne-to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why.

I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “light-hearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared.

So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am… on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why-no, I’m sure that’s the reason why I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether.

The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. 

If I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


You notice the ‘deeper, more conscious, more serious and more fragile Anne she’s talking about? And how she prefers to keep her hidden, for the people around her are not ‘used’ to her brooding, vulnerable side?

How people have always seen her as a boisterous, chirpy girl who jokes and laughs? And how whenever she even tries to bring out her ‘inner’ Anne, people find it absurd and she’s afraid they might ridicule her silent and deeper side, so she quickly hides it and ‘escapes with a joke?’

I know so many people who’re exactly the same. Too afraid to lay themselves bare. For they fear their vulnerability might be ridiculed. Bringing out your inner depth only to have it derided and not taken seriously is a form of unaddressed humiliation. It doesn’t make me angry. It hurts. Which is even worse than anger.

And all this time I’ve been trying to find the right words to explain this behavior. And Anne did it at 15.

Midnight Ramblings!

So it’s the middle of the night here and I literally have nothing to do. Like absolutely nothing. So I’m taking refuge here, on my blog and typing anything that comes on my mind.

Well, I reached a 101 followers yesterday so that’s something to cheer for. I can mentally pop up a champagne. The surprising thing is, I’m always ready for reading. Like if I’m dying and the reaper comes to fetch my soul I’ll ask for some time to finish my book before departing and offer him like coffee or something to you know just chill till I finish my last chapter. But tonight, it’s different. I don’t feel like reading which I feel really guilty about and which is a very rare thing. I can almost see my ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ crying.

What’s wrong? It’s terrible. Everyone (and that means my parents) is fast asleep and there’s no sound except for the tapping of my keyboard. My 2 best friends are both occupied.

One is fast asleep as her parents are quite strict about the time schedule.
One is busy packing as he’s leaving for New Delhi tomorrow morning.

So I’m on my own guys. Have got college tomorrow morning-which is nothing to look forward to. Good thing is my another close friend will be back from New Delhi on 18th for Diwali.

Not the best friend. Wait, I’ll explain-
There are 5 people who are close to me as I have, mentioned in my ‘About’ page. In which 2 of them are my Best Friends-like they literally qualify every checklist or a condition for a person to be your best friend.

3 of them are my close friends. One girl lives in Delhi (she’s the one who’s coming back from Delhi on 18th) and 2 other guys who are close too but live here only. It’s a little confusing, I know. But that’s who I am. And that’s my small little world.

So yeah, she’s coming back and that’s something to look forward to. Diwali is round the corner people. Less than 10 days. The preparations have already begun at my place.

What else?

One thing I’d like to say today, this blog made me if not meet but come across  some absolutely wonderful and truly blessed souls. I may have talked to them once or twice or thrice-but they’re just so awesome I almost wish I could meet them personally as I need people like these in my life.

You may think of it as some sugar coating but kindness-it doesn’t cost a damn thing so I sprinkle that sh*t everywhere! 🙂 Moreover I don’t think there’s anything wrong in complimenting people here and there!
These are the people that I’m so glad I met through my blog:

https://doubleyourpresence.com David-You had to be the first one! 😀
http://jimbotimes.wordpress.com Jimmy! You’re an amazing person who gives me free tours of L.A 😛
http://motleyprints.wordpress.com One talented photographer you are! 🙂
http://rroopeshkumar.wordpress.com Roopesh! Perhaps the only Indian blog pal I have. LOL. You’re awesome too!
http://kassafrass.com You seem like a nice person though we haven’t talked much!
http://montairyus.wordpress.com Dominic-Reserved but seems like a good person!
http://teenageintrovert.wordpress.com/ Surprisingly this fellow half-introvert guy (whose name I don’t know) is a good friend too 😀

I wish there was a longer list, but so far I’ve managed to accumulate this much! 🙂

P.s-I had a 102nd follower just now. Yaay! 😛